THE PATH Review: “Defiance”


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It was a slow week on , as the show spent its time rehashing old themes and information, only moving the plot forward incrementally. The biggest development this week is that Abe reveals himself to be an FBI agent to Eddie. The greatest obstacle in the government’s investigation into the movement isn’t finding evidence or coaxing witnesses. Instead, it’s the commitment of their lead man on the case. Abe questions what he’s doing after he learns that DeKaan Chemicals is indeed poisoning the local water supply and that the company is one of his boss’s biggest campaign donors.

Abe gets the results from the employee he asked previously, who ran them against the direct orders of her superior for two reasons. One, she thought it was suspicious how quickly she was shut down and two, her own mother grew up in that town and died of cancer at 45. Abe realizes that he was put back on the Meyerism case shortly after they publicly declared their intent to investigate the water. Does the government really care about the movement’s wrongdoings or was his boss simply trying to appease an important donor? Does it really matter the motivation behind the investigation now that it’s yielded clear proof illegal activity by the movement?


Abe isn’t sure what to believe or what he wants to do, but what he does know is that the only moment of goodness he’s had lately was when Eddie prayed for his baby to recover and her birth defect magically healed overnight. Now that Eddie knows that Abe is working for the government, he could use him in his quest to take over the movement and throw out Cal. However, if the case against the movement moves forward, Sarah will go to jail as well. I don’t think Eddie would do that, but after all the drama between them this week, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to learn that he no longer cares what happens to her.

At the beginning of the episode, Eddie goes to the City Center to confront Cal, angrily shoving him against a wall. Eddie’s so incensed that he shows Cal the necklace Steve gave him, telling him that he’s the true chosen one and that he’s going to take over the movement. Cal freaks out and holds a deranged meeting, where he berates a novice for allowing Eddie to enter the building in the first place. Cal’s paranoid, threatening behavior is probably what makes Sean decide to leave the movement once and for all.


Sean’s ready to go, but Mary’s not so sure. She confesses that she’s been discussing leaving to Sarah. She says that Sean needs to get away from the other person who might potentially be the father of her baby. Sarah tries to get Mary to name the other person, but she refuses. Sean and Mary sneak out at night to his mom’s waiting car, but Mary refuses to get in, instead running off into the forest. Sean chases after all, but when he loses her, he goes back to the car and leaves without her.

It’s hard for me to care about Mary. Her character is very one-note. So it’s hard to care whether or not she leaves the movement, but maybe her pregnancy storyline will connect to something bigger as the season comes to a close. The reveal that Cal is probably the father could be the thing that leads to his removal as leader. This information would definitely ruin his relationship with Sarah. He tells Hawk that he loves Sarah with every fiber of his being, which must add another layer to his desire to make sure Eddie is completely out of her life.


Eddie tries to meet up with Hawk. Noa informs Cal about this, so Cal intercedes. Eddie receives a text from Hawk, asking him to meet him at a gas station, but Hawk doesn’t show up. Instead, it’s three big men, who beat him up and tell him to stay in the shadows where the deniers belong. Eddie asks Hank to get the files on everyone who’s ever left the movement, doubling down on his commitment to ending the police. His emotions are running high after the beat down. When Sarah shows up at his apartment to talk about her and Cal, Eddie lets it slip that he’s working with Richard.

Sarah searches Richard’s office, finding a key to the apartment where Felicia is staying. Sarah goes there, coming face to face with one of the biggest critics of her and Cal’s leadership. We can expect a good confrontation between the two next week. Cal has a nightmare—Steve tells him he gave his necklace to a worthy one, Cal tries to strangle Steve, but Steve survives and begins creepily singing him a lullaby. The last image we’re left with is Cal in bed, shaken and disturbed.

While the episode itself felt slow, the pieces are in place for a dramatic episode next week. There’s only two more episodes left in the season, but so many questions remain.


Season 2, Episode 11 (S02E11)
The Path airs Wednesdays on Hulu

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Jennifer lives for two things: spreading the “Superstore” gospel and themed “Law & Order: SVU” marathons on USA.
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  1. Thank you for this review. I saw it but will have to see it 6 or 8 more times to get everything straight.

    “doubling down on his commitment to ending the police.” Do you mean policy?

    My link is an article about how to watch out for cults or cult-like behavior, which can be individuals as well.

  2. Speaking of the preview for episode 12: I have suspected for some time that the series (or at least this season) would end with the community being burned to the ground. In the animated title montage, one of the first things is a house on fire. Everything else, the water, the snake around the dead person, someone going berserk in isolation, the community with more people joining, etc., have all happened. Kodiak said to Gaby that the community was doomed. There have also been numerous references to “fire” and “burning” in interviews, etc. I think Richard (or someone) is going to set the whole place on fire.

    Maybe that’s what season 3 is? All the people who have spent their lives there will be forced into the outside world (live in the city center? remember when Kodiak said “The building will consume us”?) and have to live with all the I.S. and modern things? Anyway, maybe I’m wrong. But I hope if it does happen, Eddie will really rebuild the place closer to the idealistic Garden that Steve said “it’s yours” in his vision, because people should have a retreat and there really are hippie commune-like places like The Farm, Twin Oaks, Needmore and Hog Farm that are still going on.

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